Articles

The Marine Science Institute's monthly column, Science and the SeaTM, is an informative and entertaining article that explains many interesting features of the marine environment and the creatures that live there.  Science and the SeaTM articles appear monthly in one of Texas' most widely read fishing magazines, Texas Saltwater Fishing, the Port Aransas South Jetty newspaper, the newsletter of the Texas Chapter of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association , and the Heartland Of America online newspaper. Our article archive is available also on our website.

February 1, 2010
The Arctic-dwelling narwhal is undoubtedly best known for its long, lance-like tooth. But this curious looking whale also stands out when it comes to diving.
January 1, 2010
Thanks to a clever farming technique, mussel lovers can relish the fact that their favorite shellfish is not only tasty, but also kind to the environment.
December 1, 2009

Bull sharks are unique among sharks in their ability to live in freshwater habitats for long periods of time. However, dealing with changes in salinity is very taxing on their bodies, prompting scientists to wonder why these sharks venture into fresh water in the first place.

October 30, 2009
Among sharks, great whites are famous for their size, hammerheads for their shape, and makos for their speed. But the bull shark has a remarkable ability its fellow marine sharks do not: It can thrive in fresh water.
October 1, 2009

Most people probably think their encounters with seaweed are limited - being brushed by its slimy blades while swimming in the ocean, or trying a seaweed salad with sushi. But people come in contact with one component of seaweed in their everyday lives. It’s a compound known as algin.

August 31, 2009

Imagine that you were hungry for a meal, and there were plenty of tasty morsels around you… but you had to dive into chilly waters to get them. That’s a feat cormorants perform every time they dine.

August 1, 2009

Conservationists, governments and energy companies all seem to take a keen interest in the oceans’ continental shelves. These extensions of continents are shallow, mostly flat regions of Earth’s crust under the sea along the coastlines. On their outer edge, a continental slope falls away to the much deeper sea floor.

July 1, 2009
In the prehistoric seas lived a squid-like creature whose fossilized shells are prized by collectors - and they offer clues about the Earth’s history.
June 1, 2009
In the dark ocean at night some unique organisms have the incredible ability to light up the inky waters with bioluminescence — “living light.”The most common source of bioluminescence seen by humans is microscopic, single-celled organisms called dinoflagellates.
May 1, 2009

Visit most any coral reef in shallow tropical waters and you will likely see colorful parrotfish gliding by, busily grazing on algae. These herbivorous fish are more than just a pretty sight — they are swimming sand factories.

The 80-some species in the parrotfish family get their name from a unique feature: Their front teeth are fused to form plates that resemble a parrot’s beak.

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